Skip to main content
Start of content
Start of content

e-3914 (Justice)

Initiated by Frank Saptel from Toronto, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Minister of Labour

  • The intent of the federal government in amending the Canada Labour Code and modernizing labour standards was to address long standing discrepancies in labour legislation with the goal of improving working conditions for Canadians and bringing labour law in line with realities of changing labour markets;
  • In line with this goal, one area of federal labour law that was addressed were wages of part-time, casual, temporary and seasonal workers whose hourly wages were less than that of full-time workers doing the same work;
  • The legislation received Royal Assent in 2018, however, a date of effect was not given, making the legislation impossible to enforce in workplaces;
  • The practice of paying different wages based on employment status is exploitative and discriminatory, and will only end with enforceable legislation;
  • Without legislative protections, employers will continue to use this loophole to exploit workers;
  • Without a date of effect, years of lobbying efforts will be erased, setting Canadian workers back decades, which from our perspective, runs counter to the intent of modernizing the Canada Labour Code; and
  • The labour market has changed to the extent that non-traditional employment relationships are on the rise, making this piece of legislation essential in protecting workers and ensuring they earn equal wages for doing the same work as those who hold full-time employment.
We, the undersigned, members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, call upon the Minister of Labour to assign a date of effect for legislation relating to wages and equal treatment of workers regardless of their employment status.

Response by the Minister of Labour

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): TERRY SHEEHAN

The Government of Canada believes strongly in equal pay for work of equal value and the fair treatment of all workers in the workplace, regardless of their employment status. As part of the Budget Implementation Act, 2018 No. 2 (BIA 2018), amendments were adopted to the Canada Labour Code (the Code) in order to require employers to provide equal pay to employees performing similar work regardless of their employment status. The adopted amendments also confer authority to the Governor-in-Council to make regulations modifying requirements, exempting classes of employees, and defining terms regarding equal treatment provisions (see Section 182.4 of the Code, not yet in force). These changes are not yet in force because regulations are currently being developed to support these changes and ensure equal treatment and compensation for employees, including those in precarious work. In particular, regulations are required to provide additional clarity to terms used in the legislation.

A discussion paper pertaining to several amendments to Part III of the Code, including equal treatment, was shared in June 2019 with over 600 federally regulated stakeholders, including employers and employer associations as well as unions and employee representatives. Also, Indigenous partners, community organizations, and think tanks were consulted. The consultation was broad in scope, seeking feedback on a variety of Code amendments passed in the BIA 2018 that aimed at improving protections for employees, particularly those in precarious work, while supporting productive workplaces.

The Labour Program launched additional consultations, on December 21, 2021, through a broader online consultation on a number of regulatory initiatives, including equal treatment provisions, under Part II (Occupational Health and Safety) and Part III (Labour Standards) of the Code.  Given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Canada’s changing labour market, the consultations provided an opportunity to seek up-to-date input from stakeholders. The consultations ended on February 21, 2022 and the Labour Program received written submissions from employer associations in federally-regulated industries, employee associations, unions, and community organizations.

Departmental officials are currently reviewing the submissions from the 2021-2022 consultations and working to incorporate feedback for the pre-publication of the proposed regulations in Part I of the Canada Gazette (CGI). The timeframe for pre-publication of the proposed regulations in CGI has yet to be determined, as stated in the Labour Program Regulatory Plan: 2022-2024. Any update on the timing of pre-publication will be made available on the Labour Program's website as soon as it becomes available.

Open for signature
March 11, 2022, at 2:48 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
May 10, 2022, at 2:48 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie)
May 17, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00480)
Government response tabled
August 17, 2022
Photo - Alexandre Boulerice
Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie
New Democratic Party Caucus